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Both Tennessee Basketball Signees Could Seek Release

Both of Tennessee’s 2011 basketball signees could attempt to play elsewhere following Monday’s dismissal of Bruce Pearl.

Guard Kevin Ware from Conyers, Ga., told the Knoxville News Sentinel on Monday that he faxed a request to be released from his national letter of intent to the NCAA and UT. Ware said he was unhappy with Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton, who assured Ware on March 6 that Pearl would remain as UT’s basketball coach.

I think the AD really messed everything up,” Ware told the News Sentinel.

As it turns out, Pearl messed things up by committing another violation that very same weekend when the Vols played host to Kentucky. That violation, along with “recent non-NCAA related incidents,” helped lead UT to dismiss Pearl and his staff.

Ware left open the possibility of still attending UT, posting on Twitter Monday night that he might consider the Vols depending on which coach UT hires to replace Pearl.

The status of UT’s other signee, point guard Chris Jones, appears to be up in the air. Jones, who earlier this season was dismissed from a prep school in North Carolina, attended Memphis (Tenn.) Melrose High School before this year.

Jones could seek his release from UT as early as Today, according to a report from WHBQ-TV in Memphis.

If both Ware and Jones attempt to play basketball elsewhere, that would leave UT without any signees for the 2011 class. The Vols also lose five seniors from this past year’s team, and underclassmen Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson have yet to decide if they will stay at UT or turn pro.

There’s also the question of whether anyone will transfer from the program. Several players indicated they might do so in a recent story by Wes Rucker of




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